A family man who took the step of converting from Islam to Christianity, knowing he might be subject to death by Muslim hardliners, was attacked outside his home in West Yorkshire, England, saved only by the intervention of his neighbors.

The man, Nissar Hussain, 49, suffered a shattered kneecap and broken hand after he was punched and kicked repeatedly, then struck numerous times with a pickaxe.

The attack came in Bradford, a city of just over 100,000 with a Muslim population of over 25 percent and a Christian population of less than 50 percent.

Hussain told police that he and his family have been targeted many times since he made his conversion to Christianity public in 1996 and was featured in a television documentary in 2008 that highlighted the ordeals faced by Muslim converts.

He said his family’s home was vandalized after some Muslims found out where they lived, and added that this was not the first time he had been attacked.“The Muslim community are largely decent people but because of the taboo of converting to Christianity we are classed by them as scum and second-class citizens.”

Hussain, a trained nurse who has been unable to work for several years due to stress and depression, said he grew up in England and believed in British values and the rule of law, but was critical of the country's efforts to foster multiculturalism.

“I grew up in in to a free decent country accepting British values and the British rule of law, but I think there is two laws, one for them and one for us. Over the years our lives have been subjugated and stripped of any dignity and we have been forced to live under a climate of fear, this is not England.”

The Bradford police are treating the attack as a religious hate crime and according to Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long, the force is “working with Mr. Hussain to address any safeguarding issues around him and his family.”

Sharia law draws on the Quran and the Hadith in setting out the punishment for apostasy – the conversion by a Muslim to another faith, which is execution after a period of time to allow the convert to recant and return to the Islamic faith.


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